German contractor Hochtief has reached a compromise with Hamburg authorities over an over-running project to construct the city’s new Elbe Philharmonic Hall – a development that the company claims will now cost €575 million to complete.
Hochtief, which is majority owned by Spanish contractor ACS, said the agreement on a final fixed cost would also see all disputes over the development repealed and all claims surrounding the project settled. The development is now scheduled for completion in 40 months.
The new concert hall was original planned to cost €241 million when the contract was first awarded in 2007. But disputes with Hamburg’s local government over construction delays helped push the contractor to a first half loss this year.
Hochtief CEO Marcelino Fernández Verdes said the agreement was the best deal for the taxpayer and had helped the parties avoid “years of litigation”.
"The restructuring of the project is possible because all the parties are willing to extensive financial concessions. Our company will spend tens of millions of euros, make sweeping guarantees and assume more responsibility for the Elbe Philharmonic quickly,” Mr Verdes said.
The contractor added that while Hamburg’s local government would have full planning transparency, its involvement in the planning process was “no longer needed and no longer provided.”
Architects Herzog & de Meuron and Hohler & Partners are helping produce designs for the project.